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ISSN 0869-5377
The Logos Journal

Philosophical Realism vs the Dogmatism of Schools: A Reply to Dmitriy Kralechkin

Author: Gloukhov Alexei

About author:
Associate Professor, School of Philosophy, Faculty of Humanities, National Research University Higher School of Economics (HSE), 21/4 Staraya Basmannaya str., 105066 Moscow, Russia.

This paper is a response to Dmitriy Kralechkin’s review of my book “Overlapping Waves. Political Logic and the Post-Nietzschean Overcoming of Platonism” (Moscow, 2014). In contrast to the reviewer’s opinion, my reasoning behind discussing Plato’s legacy was not that I wanted to rehabilitate his name in the history of philosophy. Rather, I aimed to overcome the dogmatism of the two dominant schools in contemporary philosophy, i.e. the continental (“post-Nietzschean”) and the analytical schools. My typological method of approaching the history of philosophy allows us to see the implicit possibilities and the limits of the post-Nietzschean intellectual wave, its obsession with the problem of freedom, and its ignorance of the problem of justice. Unlike the reviewer, I consider the shift in key terminology from the notion of freedom to the notion of difference not as an independent development within poststructuralism, but rather as a part of a global philosophic trend, whereby any exceptional speech of positive freedom is bound to inflate the old vocabulary and give incentives to the emergence of fresh metaphors. My interpretation of Plato’s political philosophy is not the same as my argument about the invariant problem of political reality, which is the problem of the mutual untranslatability between the language of anomic freedom and the language of communal justice. As we focus of the latter issue, this problem has become invisible today due to the dominance of the two philosophical schools. This diagnosis of the contemporary situation in philosophy is independent from my historical studies. Limiting the ramifications to Russia, it is safe to say that it would be nonsense for us to await salvation from a direct import of either continental or analytical political theories. Local constant distortion in favor of continental thought proves the absolute compatibility of those allegedly radical ideas with the preservation of the status quo. The reason for this, as well as for the impossibility of any direct import of normative political recipes, is the absence of what we may call the common language of thought in the local political community.

Keywords: Plato; platonism; political philosophy; continental philosophy

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